Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group, said, “I am delighted to announce a strong set of results. We saw a good performance across all our regions and product groups at top and bottom-line level. We keep delivering on our ‘smart growth’ agenda, which is reflected in the improvement of all our Group key financial metrics.”
Sales volume growth
Barry Callebaut also reported its sales volume increased by 4.4% to nearly two million tons, “which is well above the global confectionery market growth rate of 0.1%,” it said.
“The good momentum was supported by all key growth drivers: gourmet and specialties (9.7%), outsourcing (9.3%), and emerging markets (5.9%), further helped by an improved market environment.”
Barry Callebaut said its products are now being delivered under a long-term supply agreement after it acquired Mondelēz’s chocolate production facility in Halle, Belgium, in December last year. It also acquired D'Orsogna Dolciaria in Italy and Gertrude Hawk Ingredients in the US earlier 2017 to expand its footprint in specialty ingredients business.
Additionally, Barry Callebaut has completed the intentional phase-out of less profitable cocoa contracts by the end of the fiscal year, amounting to 50,000 to 60,000 tons overall.
“Sales volume growth in global cocoa for the year was 0.4%... The chocolate business grew by 5.6% with a strong performance in all regions,” said Barry Callebaut.
For fiscal year 2018/19, the company is targeting 4% to 6% volume growth.
Barry Callebaut launched its sustainability strategy initiative “Forever Chocolate” in November 2016, and it has delivered “positive results” so far.
“Globally, we trained over 157,000 farmers in good agricultural practices. Approximately 36% of all cocoa and 30% of other chocolate ingredients were sustainably sourced in fiscal year 2016/17,” said the company.
Because of the farm services provided by Barry Callebaut, cocoa farmers have also seen improved productivity over the last year.
“In Ivory Coast, participating cocoa farmers experienced on average a productivity increase of 23% per hectare of farmland,” the company said.
Barry Callebaut is currently working with the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative, to increase the productivity of cocoa farmers around Taï National Park and the Cavally Fôret classée (both in Ivory Coast).
In other news, Barry Callebaut’s CFO Victor Balli decided to retire on Feb 28, 2018, and he will be succeeded by Remco Steenbergen.
Steenbergen has spent nearly 20 years at Philips (a health technology-focused company) where he held various roles, including the CFO of Television Europe in Belgium, according to his LinkedIn.
Upon joining Barry Callebaut, his responsibility will include driving creation, transforming business, leading and shaping finance teams, improving business processes and systems, and performing acquisitions.